Our Approach

The public health workforce is an effective, trusted partner to communities in addressing the social determinants of health and achieving health equity to create a nation where everyone can thrive.

We collaborate to strengthen and support the public health workforce through research, public engagement, advocacy, convening, and by creating learning opportunities.

- Center racial equity, social justice, and transformation
- Include diverse points of view
- Engage practitioners.
- Prioritize action over deliberation
- Make evidence-based decisions
- Take on tough challenges key to lasting progress

Our Approach

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  • Advancing Health Equity through the Workforce
    The public health workforce has an important role to play in advancing health equity, including collaborating with communities to address the social determinants of health, treating and supporting people in managing existing health challenges, and responding to urgent health crises.

  • Building Robust and Equitable Pathways in Public Health
    The governmental public health system should have the opportunity to recruit from a diverse pool of people who are aware of governmental public health, interested in joining the workforce, and are prepared with the knowledge, capabilities, experience, and commitment to health equity to partner effectively with communities.

  • Supporting Learning and Professional Development
    Achieving a strong workforce involves not only bringing in, retaining, and advancing excellent and diverse candidates, but also supporting learning and professional development throughout one’s career.

Build the workforce’s ability to advance health equity by embedding intentional equity-focused strategies into our approach to the two other focus areas

Strategies: Build equitable pathways to and through public health careers and support learning and professional development to increase knowledge, empathy, and humility; provide practical skills; and build the resolve to eliminate structural racism and other systemic barriers in all aspects of culture, systems, day-to-day practice, policy development, funding, and partnerships with other sectors.

Generate broad interest in public health among a diverse, knowledgeable, well-trained pool of future workforce members that health departments can effectively reach, screen and hire


  • Inform federal agencies to strengthen and expand workforce programs that support state, Tribal, local, and territorial public health.
  • Strengthen plans for retaining people hired during pandemic into long-term jobs.
  • Review existing and support additional research on barriers to recruiting and retaining candidates from diverse backgrounds and with prior training in health equity.
  • Identify and focus on the most significant barriers to recruiting and retaining diverse, qualified candidates.
  • Support health department leaders in implementing equitable and innovative management practices and inclusive cultures.
  • Serve as resource for others leading efforts to improve infrastructure and technology, working conditions, size of the workforce, pay, and benefits.

Health department leaders and staff have substantial and equitable time, resources, and support to engage in continuous learning through relevant and effective professional development opportunities and health department leaders establish work environments that foster culture, policy, and practice changes that prioritize equity.


  • Inform federal agencies to strengthen and expand federal workforce programs that support state, Tribal, local, and territorial public health.
  • Foster partnerships between hiring organizations, academic institutions, and other training providers and encourage alignment of incentives.
  • Ensure rural, Tribal, and territorial health departments receive targeted support.
  • Build on existing research to identify the most significant barriers for workers in accessing existing learning opportunities.
  • Support the field to move from health equity concepts to practical action.
  • Improve the equity, quality and responsiveness of public and philanthropic programs and secure long-term funding to support the workforce.
  • Deepen cross-sector leaders’ engagement in advancing health equity, especially as it relates to public health workforce issues.
  • Promote the public health workforce and build the public’s confidence in our field.
  • Elevate the voices of the workforce.
  • Align members’ own work to align with the Consortium’s agenda to advance shared goals.
Join Us

Join us to ensure the governmental public health workforce has the skills, resources, and support it needs to address the social determinants of health and achieve health equity.

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Join Us

I joined the National Consortium because I am supportive of strengthening our nation's public health workforce. COVID-19 has taken a severe toll on our public health workforce, so it's even more important than ever that we come together on this important topic.

Kaye Bender, American Public Health Association

Addressing the real and critical needs and dreams for the public health workforce takes diverse and passionate partners. We are part of the National Consortium to synergize our efforts to better set the workforce up for success today and tomorrow.

Liljana Baddour, Association of State and Territorial Officials

I hope the National Consortium will mobilize practitioners and policy makers to support and invest in workforce development across staff/levels in governmental public health agencies.

Monica Valdes Lupi, Kresge Foundation

Our Funders